The Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), and the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity (BIMAP), have formalised their commitment to partnering in the creation of an enabling framework for business development in Barbados.

This comes with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two agencies, aimed at supporting the research and development efforts of local businesses, through the offering of the requisite facilities, programmes and services. The official signing took place on Monday, June 30, at BIMAP???s Wildey, St. Michael office.

The BIDC and BIMAP share a long history of collaboration. The establishment of BIMAP in 1972 was in fact born out of efforts by the BIDC to promote a structured and certified skills training programme that would allow for better and more coordinated planning and policymaking to enhance the management efficiency of enterprises in Barbados. Ever since its inception, the Chairman of the BIDC has also served as the Chairman of BIMAP.

Mr. Benson Straker, who currently holds that post, initialed the instrument, and explained: ???The MOU reaffirms the commitment of BIDC and BIMAP to effective cooperation through research and analysis, educational training and capacity building activities.???

Through the MOU, BIDC and BIMAP have agreed to work collectively in areas including, but not limited to, the exchange of information, training and development of human resources, institutional strengthening, co-sponsorship of events of mutual interest to both parties and collaboration on initiatives to boost creativity and entrepreneurial thinking.

This MOU will also serve to strengthen the existing relationship between the BIDC and BIMAP and clearly define areas of cooperation that would support their respective missions and corporate objectives.

Under the MOU, BIDC and BIMAP have agreed to exchange relevant information on human resource training needs in the industrial sector as well as the BIDC; cooperate on special technical assistance projects to provide relevant training to SMEs; and cooperate in business development programs for entrepreneurs in industry.

They will also collaborate in management and educational consultancy services; participate in the development and training of individuals to work in new areas of enterprise; and co-sponsor workshops and seminars on matters of mutual benefit.

Executive Director of BIMAP, Dr. Sonia Greenidge-Franklyn, said that for her institution, the partnership was a return to the common vision it shared with the BIDC.

???One of the main objectives is to advance the productivity and performance of the manufacturing and service sectors in Barbados in an effort to produce changes that will propel the island???s economy. Both organisations also aim to encourage an entrepreneurial culture in Barbados and this collaboration will be facilitating growth and development in new and exciting industries,??? she added.

BIDC Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Leroy McClean, commenting on the initiative stated: ???A productive interface between industry and training institutes is important for Barbados at this time. New and enhanced skills, as well as critical thinking and high performance systems, are key requirements of competitive businesses.???

One of the first projects coming out of the renewed and strengthened alliance between the two agencies is the establishment of a training laboratory and center of excellence to drive the animation sector on the island. The facility, located at BIMAP???s training facility in Building # 3 Harbour Industrial Complex, St. Michael, is outfitted with specialised equipment and software to support a multi-level certification programme for persons interested in pursuing a career in animation.

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